Joyce Hoyt Clifford, Ph.D.’97, of Boston, whose vision of how nurses should work with their patients has spread to hospitals around the world, died Oct. 21, 2011, of complications from kidney failure. She was 76 and had previously spent a quarter-century as vice president and nurse-in-chief at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. At Beth Israel Hospital in the mid-1970s, she established the practice of primary nursing, under which each patient is assigned a nurse who assumes full responsibility for care during the hospital stay and subsequent return visits. Under that model, which spread to hospitals around the world, a physician and a nurse work as co-professionals, each with primary duties for a patient’s care. “Obviously she’s an icon in American nursing,’’ Eileen Sporing, chief of nursing at Children’s Hospital Boston, told The Boston Globe. “She revolutionized modern nursing practice with the creation of her patient-centered care model. That model became widely replicated as a result of Joyce’s advocacy and her contributions to the field and the literature on the effects on patient care.’’ Joyce founded and served as president and chief executive of the Institute for Nursing Healthcare Leadership. She received the award of honor from the American Hospital Association and both the lifetime achievement award and the national nurse executive leadership award from the American Organization of Nurse Executives. She leaves her husband, Lawrence, and a sister, Rita.